You’ve self-published your book, created a comprehensive marketing plan, and started your social media campaigns. Next on your To-Do list: Promotional events! Book signings and readings are crucial to your visibility and success as a self-published author. But what if you throw a book signing or launch party—and no one comes? Here are smart tips for planning book events that will be popular crowd pleasers:
The Secrets To Successful Book Promotion Events
Choose The Right Venue For Your Reading Or Book Signing
The location of your book event can be just as important as the program. Starting with venues close to home is a tried-and-true tactic because it’s easy for friends, family, and coworkers to attend. Local bookstores and libraries offer built-in book-loving audiences, and community centers are always interested in promoting (and bragging about) self-published authors from their own neighborhood. If your book is set in a specific town or location, you may try staging some events there. The important thing is to choose a venue that’s accessible to most of your fans and followers.
Promote Your Book Event In Advance
This may seem like a no-brainer, but promoting your event early and often will make the difference between empty seats and standing-room-only attendance. Start with your own preexisting social media audience, especially if many of your core fans are local to the event. Then tap into other potential audiences—such as friends of your friends, fans of similar authors, and your venue’s social media followers. Social media is an immensely powerful marketing tool, but don’t underestimate the value of an old-fashioned mailing list or even attention-grabbing flyers. Sending out press releases to local media in the weeks before your event can also help spread the word.
While it’s important to get the word out about your event, pay careful attention to your marketing time frame. You don’t want to advertise your event so far in advance that prospective attendees forget about it—but you also don’t want to wait until the last minute, because your audience will already have other plans.
Team Up With Other Authors And Businesses
To reach an even larger audience and bump up attendance, consider hosting an event that features several authors. You’ll have multiple authors promoting the event on their social media to avid readers you might not reach on your own. An event with several local authors is also more likely to attract media attention. And you can cross-promote with other businesses. For example: If your book is set in wine country, consider partnering with the local liquor store to host a combination wine tasting and book reading!
Offer Goodies And Giveaways
Everyone loves free swag! Be sure to have giveaways that feature your author website address, book title, and any links to where people can buy your book. You can offer bookmarks, magnets, pens, tote bags—whatever your budget allows. You can also have budget-friendly digital gifts: exclusive links to an excerpt or new material, screensavers, and more!
Remember: The Event Will End, But Your Promotional Efforts Shouldn’t!
Once you have connected with new readers, be sure to actively engage your audience to keep them coming back for more. Add new blog posts to your author website on a regular basis, and send out a newsletter to your email list with updated info and offers. Interact with your followers on social media. Engaging with your growing fan base will ensure that your future book promotion events will be well attended and help boost your book sales.
QUESTION: What tips do you have to share about hosting a book promo event?